Rehabilitating Our Criminals Essay

900 Words4 Pages
Rehabilitating Our Criminals

America releases 600,000 prisoners each year, but does little to prepare them for work or to improve their unlawful habits. However—not surprisingly—within three years, many of the ex-convicts are re-arrested (Irwin 38). People who have already spent time in prison or jail move back to some of America’s poorest neighborhoods to terrorize neighbors who can ill afford the costs of crime. United States prisons are ineffective in protecting society and in rehabilitating criminals to return to society.

A new Urban Institute study, “From Prison to Home: The Dimensions and Consequences of Prisoner Reentry,” provides frightening documentation of America’s failure to improve the prospects for released
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U.S. government official, Donald Taylor states, “Over the past ten years, prisons have maintained their essential task: keeping United States citizens safe from convicted felons” (Ballard). The overall purpose of a prison is to keep “bad” people away from society where they are not able to commit violent acts against innocent people. Essentially, prisons are effective because they lock up the people who are a threat to the society. According to the book entitled, Evaluation of Penal Measures, “The range for success in rehabilitation cases range from 30 percent success to 60 percent success” (Wilkins 82). This particular study was taken over a five-year period and shows rehabilitation had a positive impact on many prisoners once released into society.

Although the overall purpose of rehabilitation in prison has its positive aspects, the weaknesses of rehabilitation make prison time ineffective in protecting society. Rehabilitation may provide aide to some of the prisoners; however, there are still a large number of prisoners who are not affected by the rehabilitation and leave prison in the same state of mind as the day they were sentenced. “Twenty-five percent of all prisoners released commit an additional crime within five years of being released” (Irwin). Prisons dramatically change the values and morals of a person. According to a book entitled, The Felon, “ Persons who are sentenced to prison experience a sudden blow that hurls them
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